Democrats ignore criminals and blame auto companies for exploding auto thefts

Democrats have found a new culprit for the skyrocketing auto thefts on their watch: car companies.

Several Democratic politicians have ignored criminals and chastised manufacturers over rising vehicle thefts, suggesting a blueprint that could be continued in other areas to deflect criticism of themselves and their policies.

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison has pointed the finger at Kia and Hyundai over a string of auto thefts, even launching an investigation into the manufacturers for not using “industry-standard anti-theft technology” on some of their cars.

“Kia and Hyundai cars might as well have a giant bumper sticker that says ‘steal me,'” Ellison said in early March.

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Keith Ellison

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison has blamed Kia and Hyundai for rising auto thefts. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

In Minneapolis, Kia and Hyundai, vehicle thefts rose nearly 840% in 2022, The Washington Times reported. In St. Paul, thefts are up more than 600% from last year.

The Times noted that the stolen vehicles were sometimes implicated in other crimes, including five murders, more than a dozen shootings, 36 robberies and 265 car accidents.

California politicians have also targeted automakers, most notably Kia, Hyundai and Toyota. The Golden State has one of the highest vehicle theft rates in the country.

Democratic California Attorney General Rob Bonta and 22 other attorneys general sent a letter to Kia and Hyundai accusing them of not installing “anti-theft immobilizers,” the Washington Free Beacon reported.

“Worryingly high theft rates from these vehicles have been sustained over a long period of time,” the coalition writes in the letter. “It continues to harm your consumers, and worse, the thefts are eroding public safety as they are often accompanied by reckless driving and the commission of other crimes, further putting our communities at risk.”

“While their companies are said to have taken some steps to deal with this crisis, it was not enough and it was not done quickly enough,” they added.


Rob Bonta

California Attorney General Rob Bonta and others have also pointed the finger at automakers. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, file)

“Your companies’ decisions not to include immobilizers as standard equipment on certain vehicles sold in the United States has caused lasting harm to consumers and undermined public safety in communities across the country,” they said. “It is high time that you recognize the role of your company and take remedial action quickly and comprehensively.”

Numerous thefts of Hyundai and Kia vehicles have occurred due to videos shared on social media platforms such as TikTok. These videos show how to start certain non-immobilizer models by using the end of a USB cable to turn on the ignition. Young people often stole the cars and took them for spins.

Bonta and 17 attorneys general sent a letter to the federal government this week insisting they recall millions of vehicles.

Also in California, Democratic Los Angeles City Councilwoman Nithya Raman suggested manufacturers should take responsibility for making easily stealable parts, according to the National Review.

“In that case, I think one of the things that pisses me off is that we have a company – whatever, Toyota – that makes the Prius that essentially has a device on their cars that’s super easy to remove is. It’s basically a MacBook’s value, isn’t it?” Raman said recently.

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“That’s in a location that’s incredibly easy to access in your car, and the thefts associated with this issue essentially – all the costs of it – have to be covered by us [Toyota] having to make a car that’s actually not that easy to steal,” she added.

Nationwide auto thefts surpassed 1 million last year for the first time in 14 years, up 7% from 2021 figures.


“We’re seeing levels of vehicle theft that we haven’t seen in almost 15 years, and there’s very little deterrent to deter criminals from committing these acts because they’re just property crimes like shoplifting,” said David J .Glawe, President and CEO of the National Insurance Crime Bureau.

“We need to reinvest in local law enforcement, allocate the necessary resources to law enforcement and community policing programs, and implement early intervention programs because juvenile offenders are often involved in vehicle thefts,” Glawe added.

The offices of Ellison, Bonta and Raman did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.

Fox News Digital’s Gary Gastelu contributed coverage.

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